Words from the Editor

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Minnesota, United States
Thanks for visiting my blog. It's sort of a running history of the trials and tribulations of raising a busy family. I work full time as a nurse and my husband is at home keeping the rest of our lives in some sort of order. Life is busy, fun and challenging every single day. I hope you enjoy our story!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blog Shmog

I know, I know, I have sort of fallen off the blogging bandwagon. Honestly, since completing my Master's program, the last place I want to sit is in front of my computer (flashbacks of one too many research papers I guess!). However, since the whole intent of my starting the blog was to keep up with events in our lives so our kids (and those who choose to read along the way) will be able to look back and read about our lives in a more chronological way, I figure I should probably get back to it.

And so, what have we been up to over the past few months?

Well, since the last substantial post about us was prior to Halloween, I suppose I could start there. Halloween was good this year, warm and snow-free :) As seems to happen every year, Alex decides he doesn't really want to go trick or treating. However, one trip to the Halloween SuperStore and one creepy, blood flowing mask later, he was all in. I will say that the creepy, bloody mask terrified the life out of poor little Sarah who would barely go near him all night (f you look closely in the family picture, you may see some dried tears on her face- she really did not want to be within about 10 feet of Alex all night).

(Yes, we carved pumpkins too!- had to add this so the children know they were not deprived of any fun traditions this year just because their mom was in the heat of completing her degree right about this time :)

It was a rather strange fall (and winter as it turned out!). We had very mild weather and lots of warm days. We were able to go to the zoo later in the year than we typically do. There has not been any real "sledding" days yet but plenty of days of running around in the yard :)

Hockey has been a big part of our year. Alex has moved up from Mites to Squirts and we are spending about 4-5 days/week in either practice or games. Alex's team won the championship at his first out of town tournament in Little Falls the beginning of December. It was some great memories for him and Chris. The girls and I stayed home that weekend and baked cookies with aunt Jackie which was very fun (and messy!) and did a little "kung fu fighting".

Sarah took gymnastics this fall. By some miracle, there were no broken bones, no stitches and she did not get kicked out :) All in all, it was successful. She loved it. Not sure her teacher would have said the same thing (Picture Sarah attempting to follow instructions longer than 10 seconds in length. Now picture a frustrated adult redirecting Sarah over and over for an hour each week.). For the benefit of the poor teacher, we took this session off. We'll try again in the spring :)

We had a very nice Christmas this year- everybody was healthy! We missed Thanksgiving this year as everybody was sick. Don't worry, we made up for it with many Christmas celebrations :) This year we were able to put our "breakable" ornaments on the tree. We were even brave and put 2 whole boxes of candy canes on the tree. I'm happy to report that all the ornaments survived and when I took the tree down there were still at least a dozen candy canes fully wrapped. Sarah is starting to mellow out :)

 (yet again, the ONLY one of our kids who seems to enjoy visiting Santa)

 Notice the hair bow- this is truly a special occasion :)

And that's a wrap! Phew!!!! I will try to be better from here forward keeping up with the blog. Cramming almost 4 months of updates into one post is really too much (probably too much to read as well- sorry about that!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Return to Blogging

I admit it- I have not been in the mood to blog at all lately. Perhaps it is because I just spent the last 2+ years writing paper upon paper for school and now that I'm finally done (YAY!) I really want to do nothing productive with my computer. I've been spending a lot of time viewing Black Friday ads online and patrolling Facebook but other than that, I've been avoiding the computer. So, my apologies. I was actually going to write a sort of "catch up"  blog and post some Halloween pictures, etc. However, I have a much more important message to get across today. Several weeks ago, one of Anna's close friends, Gloria, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Anna and Gloria have somewhat grown up together as her family has lived directly behind us for the entire time we have owned our home. They also have a son who is the same age as Alex so the kids have spent the past few summers hanging out at one house or the other. This news has devastated Anna and given us a renewed appreciation for how fragile life really is. We have been praying for them since we found out and attempting to help in any way we can. They have recently set up a website asking for donations to help fund Gloria's medical care. Because of the nature of her illness and the amount of treatments she will need (a total of about two and a half years of chemo) one of them will need to be home with her pretty much full time for the first six  months. This means that they are going from a dual income household to a single income household along with trying to pay for all of the co-pays, medications, etc. I know that most of you have never met Gloria or her family and it's hard to think about donating to someone you don't know. However, you ALL know me and know that I would not ask for money for something that I didn't truly believe was going to make a difference. I know that Anna is looking at selling some of her toys and/or clothes to make some money to donate. We will be eliminating a few Christmas gifts on our list and making a donation instead. If you can find a way to donate even a small amount to them I know that they would be extremely grateful. The link is : http://www.gofundme.com/abjn4 If not, keeping them in your prayers is also appreciated. This Thanksgiving, there is no question what we are grateful for in our home-healthy, energetic, trouble making kids. Here are just a few pics of Gloria that I had from this past year.

 (yes, they are wrapping me up in toilet paper- making me into a mummy!)
Giant ice cream cones by the pool (yes Sarah is wearing boy's underwear as her swimsuit- it's a third child thing :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


We are officially into Fall. I love Fall,  it is definitely my favorite season. I hate it for what comes after it, but the festivities of Fall are still my favorite. This year, I thought it would be fun to do a corn maze with the kids. Alex and Anna had done a mini one several years ago but never a full fledged, get lost in the field corn maze. So, we bought our tickets and headed in. It took me about 30 seconds to realize that doing a corn maze with 3 children and 2 adults is a really bad ratio. All 3 wanted to go in different directions and at times we just had to choose which child to lose (it was usually Alex as he is best fit to survive in the wild based on his dedicated viewing of man vs wild). If I must admit it, it was about 20 minutes of pure parent anxiety and a bit of panic. Sounds fun, huh? The worst part- we actually PAID to do this- we paid someone money to make us feel like we were going to lose our children in a field and make us choose which ones we would keep. I think that this Fall festivity is one that we won't need to do again for a long time.........

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ups and downs

Do you ever have one of those parenting moments that actually makes your stomach turn? The kind where you would give anything to have a screaming infant again? Yep, I said it- screaming, colicky infants are easier than lying, stealing, grown up third graders. I knew it was coming, I knew we would have to face this. But, I didn't want to, still can't say I have handled it completely. It's not over, it's just the beginning. The start of new questions and harder issues and a sort of loss of innocence. And we can't make it stop :( Alex knows. He knows there is no Santa, no Easter bunny and no tooth fairy. He doesn't believe in fairy tales and there is no such thing as magic. My baby boy is gone. He has been replaced with a conniving, lying, stealing third grader who doesn't "need" any of that stuff. It all happened after we received the second call from his teacher since school started (yes, that is correct, school has only been in session for 3 weeks). He had been caught sneaking out of class to buy candy bars (with stolen money from his sisters piggy bank) and then lied to the candy bar seller by telling her that his teacher sent him to get it. He then threw away his I-care plan (basically a report letting his parents know when he gets in trouble). We found out about it from a call from the teacher. Not the way you want to start the school year. So, I decided to have a discussion with him (again) about lying in which I made the example of saying that his dad and I dont lie about things. He stared at me for a second and then it happened- "well, actually, you have lied to us about Santa, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy because you said they are real but it's really you guys". And the girls looked at us and we lied again(I know, I think we may really have a problem). I later had a talk with Alex and tried to get him to understand that he needed to keep the magic alive for his sisters no matter what he believed in. We'll see. He's not good at secrets so I have a feeling that Anna will also be a non-believer as well.

On an up note, Alex asked to play Chutes and Ladders before he went to bed. It has been years since I've played that game. I think, somewhere, he knew that he is on the verge of growing up and it was his way of being a little boy again, if only for a few minutes....

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day Back

Yep, school is back in session. Second and Third grades, here they come! I tried (really) to get some good back to school pictures, but sometimes the subjects have their own agenda (aka "hurry up mom someone is going to see us" and "please tell me you aren't walking us to the bus stop again"). It's good they are growing up but bad that it means they want (and need) us less. On a positive note, they both came home with everything they left with. Overall, day one was a success :)

In case you are wondering, I thought it would be brilliant to have them hold up the number of fingers representing what grade they are in (ya know for when I'm old and have no idea what age they were!). In the end it just looks like Alex is making some weird gang symbol and giving me the look like he'd rather be rolling around in dog poop than participating in my picture session. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.....